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Black Voices In Cabaret Announces Virtual Forum Celebrating Black History

Cabaret artists celebrate Black History Month and an online conversation on March 7.

An online public forum exploring the history of Black cabaret in Chicago will stream to the public on Sunday, March 7 at 3 PM. The panel of notables will highlight 100 years of Black music and the seminal role played by Chicago's Black performers in the history of cabaret.

Moderated by broadcaster Mark Ruffin
Daniel Johnson - Chicago's History of Blacks in Cabaret
Natalie Douglas - Creator of many tribute shows celebrating Black artists
Lynn Colbert-Jones - Songwriter
Hermene Hartman - Publisher

Chicago was the capital of cabaret in the US in the 1910s and 1920s. The Stroll on State Street from 31st to 39th Streets featured Black performers like Alberta Hunter and band leaders like Lil Hardin Armstrong. Harlem picked up the baton in the 1930s. And Barney Josephson opened Café Society in lower Manhattan in the 1940s expressly to create an environment where Black and white performers and audience could work and enjoy together.

Join us as we take a stroll through cabaret history, visiting some of Chicago's most celebrated neighborhoods as well as Memphis and New York. We'll take a look at the early days of cabaret (from Vaudeville to jazz) and follow the transitions in popular music from blues, to jitterbug, to rock and roll, while focusing on the leading role of Black performers.

The first of our "Sundays in March" events is followed by a three-episode virtual concert-"Healing through Song" -March 14, 21 and 28. A month of Sundays you won't want to miss!

Each event begins at 3:00 PM Central Time.
Room opens at 2:30 to meet and greet the panelists and each other.

Register at
A donation is requested.

The public is also invited to the online Black Voices in History Conversations. A set of short videos have been posted by cabaret artists of "Black Voices in Cabaret" to recount tales and personal testimonials of African-American performers who led the way before them.

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